Torbeyns on the Hebrew Concept of Time

From Cross Theology:

The Open Theist does not agree with Augustine’s high view on Platonism and his low view on believing in the Bible (for example, Confessions, Book 6, chapter 6). Rather, the Open Theist takes very serious what the Bible truly says about the connection between God and time.

Dr J. Barton Payne put it in very clear words: “God’s eternity was first revealed in Genesis 21:33, where Abraham called on the name of ‘Yaweh, El Olam,’ the ‘everlasting God.’ The term olam, however, did not suggest to the Hebrews God’s transcendence of time, but rather His endless duration in time (cf. 6:4) – ‘everlasting.’… Moses’ closest approach to (God’s pre-existence) is to be found in his poetic comparison that a thousand years are but a day to God (Ps. 90:4) and in his exclamation that ‘before the mountains were brought forth, even from olam to olam Thou art God!’ (v.2). His words correspond to the expressions of Job (Job 10:5) and of his authoritative counselor Elihu (36:26) that God’s duration is limitless, reaching far beyond the years of man. These verses describe eternity, but again in the sense of continuation, not timelessness” (The Theology of the Older Testament, p. 152).


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